We’ve always loved the idea of trekking but we didn’t know where to begin. More importantly, we didn’t know if we were fit enough for it.
In the past, we visited National parks in India like Tadoba, Corbett and Ranthambore. These required atleast 2-3 days to visit and prior planning to have a rewarding jungle safari. So, we were always on the lookout for experiencing wilderness through a short and spontaneous trip.
The idea of having a national park surrounded by Mumbai, one of the most populated cities in the world, was so farfetched, we never seriously considered it as forest territory, but more of a ‘picnic’ spot.
We only realized this treasure when Dhruv and Sapna went with a trek group on the Shilonda trail at Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) or Borivali National Park, as it is popularly called. And then followed a trek by ourselves (led by Mahesh, the captain!) during the monsoon. That is when it became a must-visit for every year.
Between touristy trips, a jungle safari, the mini train ride, boating, drive to Kanheri caves and using it as a location for photo shoots, we missed out on exploring a trek.
The Kanheri Trail at Sanjay Gandhi National Park
If none of this is exciting so far, remind yourself you are in territory that is a ‘real’ forest with one of the highest density of leopard population.
We’ve walked streets, beaches, caves and forts, but walking in the quiet of a National Park amongst bird calls and animal sounds is like meditation. According to the Rig Veda, a morning walk truly opens all your senses. We feel a complete shift in energy levels every time we walk this path.
After all your other senses have been gratified, don’t leave your taste buds behind.
Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet – Thich Nhat Hahn
Points to remember when trekking at Sanjay Gandhi National Park:
- The Sanjay Gandhi National park is shut on Mondays.
- Expect a queue for tickets on weekends and public holidays.
- Paid parking is available inside the park.
- Carry water and a snack that will energize you during the trek. Watch out for monkeys- they can get pesky and dangerously close when they spot food.
- When traveling with kids on this trail, check guidelines laid out by the forest officials.
- Wear good trekking footwear. The trails can also get slippery during monsoons.
You can find more information about the park here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanjay_Gandhi_National_Park
Visit SGNP’s official website and check their activities here: https://sgnp.maharashtra.gov.in
We hope this post has inspired you to trek at Borivali National Park. Do share your experiences with us. We will be doing another trail soon!